Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28, 2012 … Compromising With Evil

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Kings, Chapter 22 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Chronicles, Chapter 18 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link

 Highlight Passage: 1st Kings 22: 41-44: 51-53 :[NIV] … 41 Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother's name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. 43 In everything he followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. The high places, however, were not removed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. 44 Jehoshaphat was also at peace with the king of Israel. … 51 Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years.52 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, because he followed the ways of his father and mother and of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin.53 He served and worshiped Baal and aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, just as his father had done. 

My Journal for Today: This entry from today’s parallel passages in 1st Kings 22 and 2nd Chronicles 18 may not be very long; and if you follow my habitually verbose blogs, you’re probably saying, “Whew; … finally, … some brevity!” But there’s really not much to say about this historical lesson.

Here we have two Israeli kings, Jehoshaphat and Ahab negotiating with each other and getting advice from a bunch of fools, calling themselves prophets; and we see these leaders ignoring the one prophet, Micaiah, who was the only prophet really tuned into the Lord. And the result … well, Ahab is killed, even though the Jews defeat their powerful enemies, the Arameans. And then Jehoshaphat consorts with the northern tribes in Israel by having his son marry into Ahab’s family, which ultimately leads from division to disaster for these recalcitrant and resistant children of God, … foolish followers of God who let themselves become politically polluted by idolatry and selfishness, … unwilling to live up to their part of the covenant God made with David, … and paying the price for their disobedience.

As a believer in the same God who promised protection to king David for His people if they were obedient and followed His will and His ways from His word, do you ever find yourself compromising with what you know is ungodly in the world? Do you ever go off and make allies with pagan forces in the world like Jehoshaphat, … a marginalized believer in God, consorting and bargaining with idolatry?

It’s easy to read these two chapters today and become self-righteous, seeing how much of a fool Ahab was to be sucked into idolatry by his wicked wife Jezebel. And it’s easy to see that Jehoshaphat was unwilling to give His God 100% allegiance, foolishly promoting the marriage of his son to Ahab’s daughter. Oh how easy is it to see how the kings of the northern tribes, who became divided from the southern Israeli kingdom, letting themselves become sucked into worshiping idols; and we can see how the divisions and spiritual compromises with evil led Israel and Judah down a path of disaster for God’s chosen nation.

 But then, as we’re pointing a finger of discerning blame at these foolish ancients, are we really looking at how we compromise with evil in our world? How often do we find ourselves making alliances with unGodly forces such as the media, choosing to watch evil influences on TV or by choosing to pay to see movies which mock God with hypersexual images? How often do we choose to pollute the Temple of God – our bodies – because we are sucked in by TV ads or by other “friends” who offer us tempting, but somewhat poisonous, dietary choices?

Oh, I know … I’m meddling now, aren’t I? … But that’s what this study today has done to me in conviction. God’s word often “meddles” with my soul when I really go deep into God’s messages of personal meaning and His direction for my life (as, for example, it says in Psalm 119: 105), becoming a “light unto my path.” And quite simply – and powerfully – these chapters from 1st Kings and 2nd Chronicles have shined a light on my tendency to let the world influence my choices when I should be seeking, finding, and holding on to God’s way for my life.

I’ll leave it to you to decide how deeply and how strongly you’re holding to God’s will and way and whether the world has become too much of an influence in your life. I’m just going to be taking the conviction from my study today into God’s word and trying to let God’s light of truth guide my way more clearly in the f

 My Prayer Today: … Lord, as I so often pray, shine Your light brightly on my path, especially from Your word that I might clearly follow You in ALL things. Amen

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